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Ethan Hawke

Reviews

Blaze

By: Trevor Chartrand Director Ethan Hawke’s country music biopic Blaze leaves a lot to be desired – with a lot of atmosphere and not much narrative, this film is meandering and weak.  To some, the film could perhaps be considered an abstract poem, akin to the music stylings of the late Blaze Foley, which I suppose should be commendable.  However, given the more obscure nature of this film’s subject, the storytelling gaps will leave audiences…

Reviews

The King

Eugene Jarecki takes to the road in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce in The King.  The documentary’s narrative itself is like Jarecki’s luggage – crammed-full and seeping out of the zippers.  However, this stuffed film is interesting in ways thought-provoking open discussions can be.

Reviews

First Reformed

In First Reformed, writer/director Paul Schrader tells a story about characters living in excruciating personal turmoil.  He then gradually develops his movie to be more visceral, so the audience can experience similar pain.  You would think keeping movie goers in a state of compelling discomfort would be a tricky balancing act for Schrader, but he succeeds with ease;  almost as if this area of emotional discomfort is a particular wheelhouse for the Taxi Driver screenwriter.

Festival Coverage

Toronto After Dark 2016: ‘As the Gods Will’ and ‘In a Valley of Violence’

As the Gods Will (DIR. Takashi Miike) Takashi Miike has two modes of filmmaking: a deadly serious style that’s evident in films like Audition, and a goofy, over-the-top style visible in films like Ichi the Killer.  In As the Gods Will, it takes the viewer mere minutes to figure out which category Miike’s latest falls into (for me, it was the moment when a student gets decapitated and bleeds red marbles).

Reviews

Born to Be Blue

Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, Boyhood) stars as east-coast jazz legend Chet Baker in Robert Budreau’s biographical drama Born to Be Blue, which focuses on the musician’s comeback during the 1960s and his struggle with addiction.  The film, which was written, directed and produced by Budreau, chooses to examine a specific period of Baker’s career rather than the entirety of his career – a decision that results in a more intimate experience than one might expect…

Reviews

Boyhood

By: Addison Wylie It’s been about a week since I’ve seen Richard Linklater’s much anticipated Boyhood.  I don’t usually give myself that amount of time to conceive a write-up.  Boyhood’s different though. Boyhood’s an ambitious project that had Linklater shooting scenes over a 12 year period capturing his young lead Mason (played by Ellar Coltrane) mature into a strong-willed individual.  He, along with his cast, crafted a story around that filmmaking method and then –…

Reviews

The Purge

By: Addison Wylie While it’s not a horror, the scariest aspect of The Purge is how seriously the concept is taken. James DeMonaco issues a smart move and doesn’t make the idea of a 12-hour violent free-for-all campy by any means.  He plays his role as writer/director with a straight face and watches that his thriller and its screenplay keeps its realism but doesn’t come off as oppressive or stuffy. This warped way of communal…

Reviews

Before Midnight

By: Addison Wylie I can only write a review for Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight with a biased opinion.  Not only am I a fan of Linklater’s two previous acquaintances with romantics Jesse and Céline (both played wonderfully by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), but I’m also someone who fell head over heels for someone lovely who soon became my wife, and we proceed to take long walks and ramble until we forget where we were…